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Strengthening First Nations Economic and Job Opportunities

In 2016, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 25-64 who were employed was 51%, compared to 75% for non-Indigenous people.

Public sector employment:
An Albanese Labor Government would lead by example by setting a target to increase First Nations employment in the Australian Public Service to 5% by 2030.
Some government agencies have already achieved a 5% First Nations employment rate, but there is more to do - overall the APS employment rate is around 3.4%.
There is significant underrepresentation of First Nations people at senior levels of the APS, and significant overrepresentation at junior levels. In government we would take steps to address this.

Private sector employment
An Albanese Labor Government would support the good work of many of Australia’s largest employers to continue to increase the rate of First Nations employment by:

  • Working with Australia’s largest 200 employers on public reporting of the proportion of First Nations employees - in line with reporting requirement for gender balance on boards.
  • Working with business to bring employment levels of First Nations working age Australians in our 200 largest businesses to levels consistent with share of population by 2030 including through improving access to training and apprenticeships.

Intellectual property rights
An Albanese Labor Government will get on with a Productivity Commission inquiry into the market for First Nations arts and crafts, including the prevalence of fraud and inauthentic art. The huge and unconscionable market in fake art robs many First Nations artists of income.
We would also work with First Nations to establish stand-alone legislation to protect First Nations peoples’ traditional knowledge and cultural expressions, informed by the findings of the Productivity Commission inquiry and we would review the operation of the Indigenous Art Code including how it can be better resourced and strengthened.

International trade
An Albanese Labor Government would support inclusive growth for Indigenous-owned businesses in both domestic and international trade and would reaffirm the importance of Indigenous rights in future international trade agreements; inclusive trade, sustainable development, traditional knowledge, and the protection of the integrity of Indigenous arts and cultural products.